Food and Wine Apps to Enhance your Tasting Experience

In our technologically-advanced world, with smart phones and tablets everywhere, apps have become one of our go-to solutions for problems and suggestions.

From apps that direct us to where we can find the best food in a city, to apps that tell us what the weather will be like in a week, there seems to be an app for just about everything we need and want.  And if that is not the case, every day many more apps are being created to fill in any gaps that may be present.

Here are a few food and wine apps that can direct you to fine wine online or at your favorite store, as well as help you enhance your tasting experience.

Have these apps handy when choosing what wine to pair with your dinner or what wine you should choose based upon your preference for taste and color.

Pairing Food and Wine

Sometimes it can be quite confusing trying to figure out what wine to have with your dinner or what dinner to pair with the wine you purchased.

Thanks to an app called Pair It, the guesswork can finally be over.  This easy-to-use wine app allows you to either search for food you’re about to eat or the wine you’re about to indulge in, and then pair it with the perfect food or wine suggestion to suit your needs.

Its wine library is extensive, with over 180 wines from around the world, and the food library is even more complex, with over 1,000 dishes, so you’re bound to find a great match.

Choosing the Perfect Wine

The task of choosing the right wine can be difficult, especially when there is such a wide selection to choose from at the store.

mobile wine app

Though you can search for wine online to get an idea of what you would enjoy most, it can still be difficult to narrow down the choices.  But now, with the Wine Enthusiast Guide app, you can easily and quickly access over 100,000 professional wine reviews from the experts at Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

It even has a section where you can look up terminology related to wine.  In addition, each wine’s description includes its price, style, region, rating, and variety.

Keep Notes

If you do not want to forget how you felt about a particular wine, you will want to get the Tasting Notes app, which allows you to take notes and photos of the bottles you try.

You can even rate the experience and then share it with your friends on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  There are even customization options to create your own lists, so you are not restricted to merely what the app offers.

Whether you found a fine wine online or you tried something new at a restaurant, with this app you will not forget how you felt about each wine.

Learn About Wine

If you want to know the difference between various types of wines, such as what the differences are between Riesling, Chardonnay, and Merlot, the wine app is just what you need.

If you searched for a wine online but are not sure whether or not to purchase it, you can refer to this app, which gives you information on both red and white wines; including their growing areas, aroma, tannins, colour, acidity, synonyms and even pairings so you know exactly what foods will go best with your choice of wine.

This indispensable resource has a very large search index containing over 600 varieties of wine, making it easier than ever to decide what wine to purchase, whether you are searching online or at the store.

Determine what wine you need to purchase based upon your preferences by searching for particular colors, aroma, acidity, and more.

This guest post was submitted by Carlo Pandian. Carlo is a freelance writer and blogs on wine online, food and social media covering everything from Iphone apps to the latest wine bars in London. When he’s not online or cycling around, Carlo enjoys visiting contemporary art exhibitions and meeting up with his friends for a good glass of wine.

Total Wine & More Introduces Next Generation Retail Experience

Total Wine & More, America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, will introduce its new, “next-generation” retail experience in Southern California with the opening of its latest location in Laguna Hills, CA.

Total Wine & More Laguna Hills

Total Wine & More’s Laguna Hills location will offer more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers, including hard-to-find labels and locally produced product.

The beverage superstore has created a unique retail environment centering around the latest technologies to enhance its customers’ experience, according to David Trone, co-owner of Total Wine & More.

Next-generation elements include iPads which allow customers to interact with an app that recommends wine and food pairings, a fully-equipped education center to facilitate wine, beer, and spirits tastings, and flat panel video screens which provide continuous educational content on wine, beer and spirits makers and their trade.

Coming soon, QR codes will provide customers with on-demand video content and will include full details of each product’s tasting profile, ratings and price.

Wine Recommendations“Today’s customers are seeking increased information from retailers about the products they see and like, and Total Wine’s new, ‘next-generation’ environment delivers on all of those fronts,” says Trone, who co-owns Total Wine & More with his brother Robert Trone. “While we continue to focus on delivering market-leading prices, selection, and service, we have expanded our objectives to ensure that we are also technology leaders in our industry.”

The new retail experience in the latest Total Wine & More store begins with flat panel screens at the entrance of the store that stream video content on vintners, their wineries and how the wine is made. At the state-of-the-art tasting bar, customers may utilize Total Wine’s proprietary iPad app, which provides recommendations based on pairing beverages with various meals. Coming soon, customers may utilize QR (quick response) codes to surf the web for product information and price comparisons.

“For example, customers are often seeking suggestions for a wine to pair with dinner,” explains Trone. “Using Total Wine’s app, our customers can input the food they are planning to prepare and the app will provide a recipe as well as multiple recommendations for wines which would pair nicely with the meal.”

Recipes and recommendations may be printed in the store or e-mailed for easy reference while browsing the thousands of wine selections available in each Total Wine Superstore, according to Trone. Total Wine and More Food Pairing App

In addition to the unique iPad kiosk, Total Wine & More’s new retail environment features an updated education center, equipped with wireless communications capabilities.

“One of the features that makes Total Wine unique is our educational ‘Meet the Maker’ series. These sessions give local customers a chance to interact with well-known makers of wine, beer and spirits to taste and learn about the rich history of various beverages,” says Trone. “Through our enhanced retail design, we will now be able to offer these classes with updated graphics and information, enriching the educational experience for our customers.”

In addition to enhanced tastings, Total Wine & More offers classes on various types of wines, beers and spirits. The state-of-the-art education center is also available to be booked for use by local non-profits and businesses at no charge.

Throughout the new, next-generation store, customers will also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, which Trone says is essential in providing price transparency.

“It might surprise people to know that we really want our customers to have the ability to compare prices,” he explains. “By providing customers with connectivity throughout our stores, we are giving them the opportunity to ensure they are getting the best prices in the market when shopping with us.”

Trone adds that “the idea behind each of these enhancements is to provide a fully integrated and enjoyable customer experience.”

Social Media Success Story

In under a year, Orange County’s first enomatic wine bar, OC Wine Mart, has received many praises. Owner Julie Lim was recently named one of OC Metro’s “20 Women to Watch,” and the tasting bar is rated one of Orange County’s top 10 wine bars by Zagat, a leading restaurant review guide.

Julie recently spoke at the Harvard/USC Business Growth Summit and her presentation is a perfect sample of how a restaurant or similar venue can succeed in social media marketing.

“Twitter Tasting” with Whole Foods

Interested in checking out a big brand that’s doing really awesome things with social media? Check out Whole Foods. Whole Foods is the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, with more than 300 stores in North America and the UK.

This week, they’re hosting their second “Twitter Tasting” where they will lead a virtual tasting tour of featured Bordeaux wines. The first Twitter Tasting they did was around the holidays when they encouraged participants to sip, swirl and talk about six of their “Top 10 Holiday Wines.”

So how does a Twitter Tasting work? You print out your tasting sheet ahead of time, then at the appropriate time, you can either join the chatroom or simply follow @WFMWineGuys and #WFMWine to partake in an open discussion with people all over the country who are sampling the same wines you are.

All the wines featured in the upcoming Twitter Tasting can be purchased at Whole Foods stores for under $20. This a great excuse to invite some friends over for a wine tasting party!

This is a great promotion in that it’s totally unique, it encourages interaction, it stimulates buzz and gets customers into Whole Food stores. Because it’s exclusive to Twitter, it’s virtually no cost to Whole Foods (aside from the time invested) and it serves both marketing and pro-active customer-service functions.

Another way Whole Foods is really making their Twitter presence stand out is that they have a page on their website designated specifically to Twitter. Not only do they introduce their main Twitter account, but they also have accounts for specific topics (ie. @WFMCheese, @WFMWineguys and @WholeRecipes) as well as accounts for specific regions and, finally, individual stores. The page is organized and straightforward, simple for even the newest tweeter to explore.

Aside from that, they’re updating regularly, interacting frequently, posting unique content and have a higher Klout score than the majority of people.

Whole Foods has nearly two million followers. Meaning, even if just 1% of them ever set foot in a store from a promotion like a “Twitter Tasting”, that’s 20,000 people. If even just 1% visit the website, that’s 20,000 unique visitors. The ability to reach this large an audience via one portal is unprecedented and this a great case study to illustrate that.